Former Australian captain George Bailey is all set to usher in a new era after Cricket Australia confirmed on Wednesday that the right-handed middle-order batsman will take over as the third national selector joining the likes of Trevor Horns and the national sides’ coach and former Test match opener Justin Langer.
Bailey will kickstart his tenure from February 2020 after the Tasmanian batsman takes retirement from all formats of active cricket following the culmination of his stint with his state-side as far as Shield is concerned alongside his Hobart Hurricanes campaign in the upcoming season of the Big Bash League.
Bailey is one of the rare sets of players who made their International debut as captain against India in a Twenty20 International back in 2012. The former Australian batsman, whose newly tweaked batting stance, proceeds to go viral on social media, every time he bats for his state-team or in a franchise league, is one of the most respected cricketers in Australia and the response to him being selected for the selector’s role has been very well received.
Bailey is a man of high integrity and white-ball skipper Aaron Finch is confident that there would be no bias towards his home side players from Bailey.
“Not at all, no, I haven’t heard anyone even doubt the decision. I think everyone, all the players I’ve spoken to, are rapt with the decision. To have someone who is obviously still playing but he’s a professional, he’s been around the game for a long time, he might get sledged a bit less though. No doubt that will not be an issue,” said Aaron Finch as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
George Bailey led Australia in the 2012 and 2014 World T20
Apart from a brief period following the Argus review in 2011 when Michael Clarke took up the responsibility of being one of the selectors, no previous Australian selector has played a T20 International. George Bailey captained Australia in the 2012 and 2014 T20 World Cups and led his country into the top-four in the 2012 edition. And, Aaron Finch is delighted to have someone with such a rich vein of experience on the panel.
“It’s great to have someone who has been heavily involved in T20 cricket, in particular, someone who has captained Australia and knows what it takes to be an elite player and someone who hasn’t always done it the easy way. He’s challenged himself technically a lot of times, George, and I think just the way that he played the game is brilliant and to have that talent identification as well is really important.”
The Tasmanian batsman, Bailey, who leapfrogged his contemporary Michael Klinger for the role was delighted upon landing up the opportunity of being one of Australia’s national selector and said, “I am passionate about the long-term success of the Australian cricket team and advancing the cause of Australian cricket in general.
I have been fortunate enough to contribute as a player for quite a few years, and to now have the opportunity to continue in the role of a selector is a tremendous honour. I’m confident I can add value to the selection process and that my experience will be complementary to that of Trevor and Justin. I am really excited to be joining them in the coming months.” Bailey added.